Biden Administration’s Mistakes Raise the Stakes for 2021 Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the National Defense Authorization Act:

“For months, while our colleagues have been writing their reckless taxing and spending spree behind closed doors, the Democratic majority let the National Defense Authorization Act sit in limbo.

“This week, four and a half months after it was cleared by the Armed Services Committee, the Senate should finally finish this legislation.

“Unfortunately, those who mean America harm haven’t been waiting around for us to act. Threats to our national security are grave and getting graver.

“Since the Biden Administration’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan, according to our top commander in the region, the U.S. military has but a small fraction of the actionable intelligence they had before the coalition withdrew.

“But the predictable, avoidable resurgence of terrorist networks has continued apace.

“We also know that more Americans citizens and permanent residents remain stranded under Taliban rule than the Biden Administration admitted.

“Meanwhile, the threat of further Russian aggression toward Ukraine is testing whether this White House and our allies in Europe will avoid misguided half-measures to deter and defend against grave and growing threats.

“So, at the risk of stating the obvious: the United States needs to follow through with promises of urgent, substantive assistance to Ukraine and encourage other NATO allies to do the same. This should not be controversial. Only in the warped world of Kremlin propaganda is giving Ukraine the means to defend itself considered provocative.

“These real threats to national security, and others too numerous to name, should serve as a reminder of the need for America to lead by example and commit to modernizing our own military capabilities. Which in turn means taking the NDAA seriously.

“So I’m glad that the Senate is finally set to vote on this crucial legislation. While the process has been imperfect, I’m glad that bipartisan work has produced a bill that authorizes an increase in topline funding for our national defense.  

“After months of delays, our colleagues have an opportunity to begin showing that America is serious about keeping pace with adversaries like Russia, who have spent decades modernizing their militaries with a singular focus on countering our military advantage.

“We have an opportunity to pay more than just lip service to competition with China.

“We have an opportunity to lay a foundation that we ought to follow through with robust and full-year defense appropriations.

“I encourage Senators to advance the legislation today.”


Related Issues: Senate Democrats, America's Military, Appropriations, Afghanistan, China, NDAA